The Potential Impact of Windows 10 on Business Productivity

Joe Reithmeier June 12, 2015

Over the past few months, you’ve probably heard a lot about the upcoming release of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 10. Ever since its official announcement, there has been a lot of speculation about new features, improvements over earlier versions, and the effect these changes may have on businesses. For any business, it is critical to keep informed about the latest technology available and what impact it could have on they way they do things, particularly in an increasingly mobile environment. Let’s take a look at a few of the things that are changing and their potential impacts.

What new features and improvements have been added to Windows 10?

With Windows 10, Microsoft is attempting to create a unifying operating system–one that will work seamlessly across devices. One of the primary complaints from users of Microsoft’s previous effort, Windows 8, was that its emphasis on usability with touch screen devices hampered the user experience of those using non-touchscreen devices such as desktops and laptops. Users longed for the more professional, traditional feel of Windows 7. With this release, Microsoft is attempting to satisfy users by combining the advancements made in Windows 8 with the more traditional feel of Windows 7 to formulate an experience that is satisfactory for every user on any device.

To address these concerns, Microsoft has created Continuum. Continuum allows the user to use their applications across platforms. It responds to changes in devices by instantly changing and reformatting the user interface to conform to the particular device in use. For instance, imagine you’re using a Surface tablet and using a keyboard to type in a word document. If you then remove the keyboard, Continuum will recognize this and adjust the interface on the tablet to become a more touchscreen-friendly device.

Within the Windows 10 system, each application will essentially run as its own virtual environment. Given the ability work with multiple virtual desktops, this gives those fervent multi-taskers among us more space to run as many application windows as we like. This was a key feature devised from feedback Microsoft received from users looking to achieve more with the screen space they have. Similarly, the Snap feature is now enhanced to allow up to four windows in separate quadrants of the screen whereas previous Windows operating systems had only allowed the screen to be split in half.

One of the most public complaints users had with Windows 8 was the disappearance of the Start menu. Those users will be happy to learn of its return, though with a slightly updated look, as Microsoft attempts to bridge the gap between the professional-look of Windows 7 and the usability of Windows 8.

After appearing on previous versions of Windows mobile devices, the personal assistant Cortana will now be available on all devices. Cortana provides search capability and offers context-based suggestions based upon apps that may be open. Though the program will have to gather data in the initial stages for how desktop users function, and adjust based on that information, it could ultimately be a useful productivity tool.

How do these changes affect businesses?

With Windows 10, Microsoft is looking to make things easier for businesses with increased fluidity across devices and make teamwork more efficient. Their emphasis upon universal apps working across platforms shows their goal of a harmonious relationship between function and accessibility. This should result in a more natural, less unwieldy working environment.

The Continuum feature should allow for greater productivity and collaboration for employees, and Microsoft hopes that business will utilize the largest version of its tablet product, the Surface Hub, which can be mounted on conference room walls as a focal point for meetings. With collaboration tools such as Skype for Business and OneNote built right in to the Surface Hub, this may be a useful option for businesses looking for new productivity tools.

As with any potential software or operating system upgrade, businesses must evaluate what they need to achieve their goals. New features and productivity tools are great if they are used correctly. If they become a distraction, there could be a negative impact.

What about mobile devices?

Microsoft’s mobile efforts continue to struggle behind Android and Apple in terms of the numbers of users worldwide. With the introduction of Windows 10, since the vast majority of businesses work with Windows operating systems, users transitioning their smartphone loyalty only makes sense if the improvement in productivity for the individual user is too hard to ignore.

Ultimately, users will have to wait until the Windows 10 release date to get a true sense of the impact the operating system will have on consumers and businesses. Until then, businesses are best served by doing their due diligence on the new operating system by researching how the system could improve their productivity and help them achieve more with regard to their specific needs and goals.The increased fluidity across devices can help them bridge the gap with their rivals with an increased user base. Microsoft is hoping that the fluidity across platforms thanks to Continuum will help.

Do you have any thoughts on the upcoming release of Windows 10, or how it might impact your business? Let us know in the comments below.

If you would like to learn more about Windows 10 or have any other questions about IT as part of a comprehensive IT support strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us today to speak with an IT expert.


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